Q:

How can I remove a washed-in mustard stain from a white cotton shirt?

A:

Quick Answer

Stubborn mustard stains can be removed with the right techniques and supplies. You need distilled white vinegar, cool water, laundry detergent, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia and an eyedropper. The removal process takes between five and 20 minutes, depending on the method used.

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Full Answer

  1. Start with the simple solution

    Fill an eyedropper with distilled white vinegar. Place a paper towel under the shirt and flush the stain with the vinegar. Let it stand for a minute and then rub the stain with a mild solution of laundry detergent and water.

  2. Use a tannin solution

    If the stain remains, pre-treat the area with a shot of rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid. Make a tannin solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of detergent with 1/4 cup each of cool water and vinegar. Submerge the stain in the tannin solution for five minutes. Remove and tamp the spot with a brush to loosen the stain.

  3. Follow up with hydrogen peroxide and ammonia

    Rinse away the tannin solution with cool water, and apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the stain followed by the same amount of ammonia. Rinse again and flush the spot with a few drops of vinegar. Finally, wash the garment in hot water.

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